Service and reception on St. Croix mark new Legislature
Published: January 17, 2013
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ST. CROIX - The festivities surrounding the 30th Legislature taking office moved to St. Croix on Wednesday, as newly sworn-in senators and the public attended an ecumenical church service, followed by a meet-and-greet at the Legislature building.
The service, at Friedensberg Moravian Church in Frederiksted, was marked by uplifting songs, a sermon focusing on true leadership and prayers for senators.
It was the third church service connected with the new Legislature taking office.
Ceremonies started Sunday with a church service and a meet-and-greet on St. John.
On Monday, a church service on St. Thomas was followed by the formal swearing-in ceremony for the 30th Legislature at Emancipation Garden. Following the swearing-in, the 30th Legislature had its first legislative session.
At Wednesday's ecumenical service, the Rev. Dion Christopher said he was pleased to learn that church services were associated with the new Legislature taking office.
"Brothers and sisters, the senators know they need prayer," Christopher told those who gathered.
Christopher's short sermon - punctuated by applause from those in attendance - was titled "Overview of Leadership," and he spoke directly to senators who were sitting in the front rows.
He spoke about how Britain calls its political leaders "ministers" - a term it also uses for church pastors.
Christopher told senators he wanted them to see themselves as ministers.
The ministry of a senator, Christopher said, "is to care for and to look out for the best interests of the people."
Quoting scripture, he also told the legislators to "keep watch" over themselves and "the flock" over which they'd been given charge, and to "keep God in the middle."
Christopher cautioned senators to "remember from whence you came" and to surround themselves with good people.
"Your being a senator doesn't make you better than us," he said.
Christopher told senators that what they do in office should not be about getting re-elected in two years - it should be about serving now.
"It's not about being a senator - it's about serving the people," he said, adding that senators should love people. "Love the people and serve in the Senate," he said.
"People do not want you to be in this position for your own personal gain," he said. "It's not about you."
He encouraged senators to keep God at the center of everything they do.
At one point, he invited senators up to the front of the church, where pastors prayed for and blessed them.
After the service, the celebration moved to a ceremony in the courtyard of the Legislature building, where senators each spoke for a few minutes, many thanking their families, supporters and staff.
Fourteen senators participated; Sen. Janette Millin Young was not in attendance.
Afterward, appetizers and refreshments were served.
- Contact Joy Blackburn at 714-9145 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.